Namibian rugby coach Danie Vermeulen said he expected a tough match when Namibia take on South African Universities in Windhoek on Saturday afternoon.
The match will serve as preparation for Namibia ahead of their African qualifying matches for the 2015 World Cup in Madagascar in July, when Namibia will take on the host nation, Morocco and Senegal.
“They have selected a very good side and we are in for a tough match,” Vermeulen told Namibia Sport.
“They have a very good coach in Chean Roux and I’m expecting them to play a fast and open game by running the ball a lot,” he added.
Vermeulen announced the Namibian team earlier this week, which will be captained by flanker Tinus du Plessis for the first time, in the absence of Jacques Burger who is still injured.
Du Plessis had a great season with English Premier League club Wasps and had his contract renewed in March, and according to Vermeulen he was a ‘logical choice’ as captain.
“Tinus has a lot of experience, playing professionally in England, and this, coupled with his knowledge and decision making in match situations made him the logical choice for me,” he said.
Besides Du Plessis, the Namibian team includes eight other players who were in action at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Amongst the forwards they are Wanderers prop Johnny Redelinghuys, the lock pairing of Henk Franken and Heinz Koll and Wanderers eighthman PJ van Lill.
The backs include scrumhalf Eugene Jantjies, flyhalf Theuns Kotze, and wings Chrysander Botha and Danie Dames.
With Redelinghuys the only remaining front ranker available from the World Cup squad, Vermeulen has brought Callie Swanepoel, Collen Smith and Martin Goeieman from United for the first time.
The team will also see a new centre pairing in Roger Thompson of Western Suburbs and Anthony Jevu of Kudus after none of Namibia’s World Cup centres were selected.
The match takes place at the Hage Geingob National Rugby Stadium on Saturday, June 23, starting at 14h00. It will be preceded by three schools matches, with Pioniers Park playing Elnatan in an Under 11 match at 10h00; Pioniers Park playing Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaat Skool in an Under 13 match at 10h50; and Windhoek High School playing Dr Lemmer in an Under 19 match at 11h40.
The South African Universities team is as follows:
SA Students 22-man squad
Forwards – Fanie van der Walt (No 8, University of Free State), Justin Wheeler (flanker, University of Johannesburg), Helmut Lehmann (flanker, University of Stellenbosch), Sam Mbombo (flanker, University of Stellenbosch), Siyanda Ndlovu (lock, North West University), Marnus van Huysteen (lock, University of Johannesburg), Hugo Kloppers (lock, University of Stellenbosch), Stephan Hamman (prop, University of Stellenbosch), John Roy Jenkins (prop, North West University), Wesley Chetty (prop, University of Cape Town), Niel Rautenbach (hooker, University of Cape Town), Francois du Toit (hooker, University of Johannesburg).
Backs – Andrè Smith (fullback, University of Stellenbosch), Rian Arends (winger, University of Witwatersrand), Joe Seerane (winger, North West University), Mark Hodskiss (University of Stellenbosch), Joubert Engelbrecht (centre, North West University), Andrè Kemp (flyhalf, University of Stellenbosch), Francois du Toit (flyhalf, University of Free State), Pieter Rademan (scrumhalf, University of Free State), Rudy Paige (scrumhalf, University of Johannesburg), Divan van Zyl (utility back, University of Johannesburg).
Head coach: Chean Roux (University of Stellenbosch), Assistant coach: Fana Elliott (University of Fort Hare), Assistant coach: Brent Janse van Rensburg (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University).